Building a Library of Lotus Notes Secrets


All you Notes pros out there, does this story sound familiar? You get stuck on something so you ask yourself, ‘why isn’t this working?’; in the course of troubleshooting you discover a little something about Notes (something that’s conspicuously absent from the Help documentation); knowing this ‘secret’ helps you fix the problem and helps you steer clear of similar issues in the future.

Any truly mature computer technology has its share of secrets—you know, those undocumented little and not-so-little things that grizzled veterans discover on the job then catalog in their minds. And Lotus Notes, having roots dating back to the 1980s*, is most definitely no exception.

Any Notes pro worth his-or-her salt aspires to learn as many of these ‘secrets’ as is humanly possible. Why? Because knowing this stuff isn’t just for winning barstool arguments; having a fuller understanding of the inner workings of Notes helps you work more efficiently and avoid pitfalls in application development or server administration.

But the thing is: no one person can possibly acquire the experience it would take to learn all of Notes’ secrets. This is why we’re going to use this site to publish our own collection of Lotus Notes Secrets and we invite you to share yours. So the next time you find yourself thinking “Whoa! I had no idea that’s the way this thing in Notes really works,” please take a moment to add a comment to this post or send us an email ( We’ll publish your tip here and, naturally, give you full credit.

Some of Ytria’s collected Notes secrets were unveiled at Lotusphere 2010 when our very own Eric Houvenaghel joined Certified Lotus Instructor Jerome Deniau in leading a Bird’s of Feather session entitled “IBM Lotus Notes Myths, Legends and Folklore—Debunked”. We’ll be posting the secrets mentioned in that session right here on the Ytria Tech Lab soon.

(*You could even argue that Notes’ roots go back to 1973 if you consider the liberal influence that the University of Illinois Computer-based Education Research Laboratory’s PLATO Notes system had on Ray Ozzie, the father of Lotus Notes).